Came out of a disco at 0730 or so. Walked thru a bunch of Spanish soldiers at the Plaza Mayor and down a small alley where we came upon the peacock and two hens that evaded us by bolting up into the air when we surrounded them. Then to a little place that seemingly sold nothing but hot chocolate with bread to dip into it. Then a cab back to the flat to sleep until noon or so, when we stumbled down to the cafe for beer and blood sausage with tortilla (in this case, tortilla meaning something of an egg'n tater omelette). Then linger over several more beers just talking and watching people and traffic and enjoying the breeze and the shade. Then stumble back to the flat to nap for a bit. Rouse ourselves around ten or so to head out for dinner and mojitos and then a walk around the backstreets until we find an after hours joint in a basement where they dance the way I expected them to dance in Spain - like someone's watching all the time.
That is the best way for me to describe the pattern of life the way I saw it, and the fact that ANY schedule works in that city. I could just as easily have gone to bed every night at ten and risen at five in the morning and seen a city not unlike the one I saw on my trip. However, I would only have had a passing acquaintance with my companions, and I would've missed some of the really good stuff.
It wasn't just Madrid. It was being with you guys in Madrid that was cool. I will go back (I applied for an eight-month job in Amposta this evening online, so I'm not kidding around about it), and I will spend more time exploring the place in depth. For the moment, I just need to work on the Spanish and save my jingle.
quote:Originally posted by oxsan I agree PT that Mug got some beautiful pics of Madrid. mIt has been 18 years since I have been in Madrid and I think that it was not that beautiful when I was there. I think that they fixed it up just for Mug's arrival.
I had a guidebook the first time that I went there and I seem to remember it saying that there was a Mayor of Madrid who regenerated all this civic pride and got the city cleaned up. It was my third time there and it keeps getting better; the formal garden behin the Palacio Royale that we went to was covered in graffiti the first time that I went there, but has been cleaned up since (and, in fact, there was much less graffiti in general than I remembered from my previous visits). The Metro is excellent, although I generally prefer to walk around Central Madrid (even when towing a sweaty shortlegged Texan, and Love's Young Dream, along with me).
I think that Franco was still in power when I was last in Spain. The return of the monarchy and then the switch to a republic may have brought about a beautification program. I don't mean that Madrid was drab before but it wasn't as lush as Mug's pics show when I was there. I have never been in the part of the city where the Olivar is.
We had a chuckle about the map you gave me to find my way around with. It was a Franco-era map, and most of the street names have since changed to reflect that shift. General Mola no longer has a street named after him. Still have the map, however. It was interesting.
quote:Originally posted by oxsan And one of Tehran that dates back to the rule of the Shah.
That won't include the museum relating how shitty the US is, then (I believe that it is centred on the old US embassy in Tehran). Incidentally, General Mola's old street in Madrid is now called 'Principe de Vergara'.
quote:Originally posted by oxsan If you want to go to Jerusalem I have a map of that city printed when Golda Meier was Prime Minister. And one of Tehran that dates back to the rule of the Shah. I collect maps you know.
I think a lot of my problems can be traced back to an adolescent crush on Golda Meir.
Since Pappy took us to live in a cave for a few years during that time, all I had to satisfy my unquenchable lust for Golda was a picture of Lyndon Johnson in a dress. (Close enough.)